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A VERST TOO FAR

The Polar Bear Expedition: The Heroes of America’s Forgotten Invasion of Russia, 1918-1919 - James Carl Nelson

As someone who grew up in the Midwest U.S., I first gained some awareness of the 'Polar Bear Expedition' of 1918-19 --- in which a U.S. Army regiment was sent to Northern Russia in the summer of 1918 ostensibly to guard stores of Allied military equipment at the port of Archangel, but was later used in battle against the Bolsheviks as part of a larger Allied (i.e. British) scheme to overthrow the Bolshevik government in Moscow and bring Russia back into World War I as a way to force Germany to recommit military forces there --- from a story I read in the late 1970s in a local paper about an elderly gentleman in Detroit whom mention was made of as having served in Northern Russia with the U.S. Army in 1919. I never forgot that newspaper story. And so, when I became aware of this book, I was determined to read it.    And I'm glad I did, because I learned so much.    For instance, who knew that, in addition to the U.S. and Britain, French, Canadian, and some Chinese military forces were involved in military actions against Bolshevik forces in Northern Russia in 1918-1919?

I highly recommend "THE POLAR BEAR EXPEDITION: The Heroes of America's Forgotten Invasion of Russia, 1918-1919" for anyone interested in learning about a long overlooked chapter of U.S. history that can provide valuable lessons for policymakers, academics, U.S. civilian and military leaders, and the general public as to the need (as stated by the White House) to deploy military forces in any part of the world identified as vital to U.S. security interests.